The Greek government is considering imposing a nationwide lockdown following on the steps taken by Italy and Spain as the death toll from the coronavirus reached four and the number of cases jumped to 352 on Monday.
On Monday Greece announced new measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, including the closure of shops as of Wednesday and the quarantine of all foreign visitors to the country for the duration of two weeks.
On Sunday, Athens announced that it is closing off the country’s borders with Albania and North Macedonia and suspending ferry services with Italy in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Updates on Monday
22:05: The Church of Greece decided to curtail all weekday services, while the Sunday liturgies will be held for only one hour, between 7 and 8 in the morning. Additionally, all marriages and baptisms will be postponed for the next several weeks. The church buildings will remain open, but only for individual prayer. Full story.
21:15: French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered the country’s citizens to stay in their homes.
Adresse aux Français. https://t.co/V0kwXbU79J
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 16, 2020
20:50: Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras said in a message sent from his personal laptop that ”At these times, we all need to become one to fight the crisis. Let this crisis be the reason for us to make the best of ourselves.”
Τούτες τις ώρες οφείλουμε όλοι να γίνουμε μια γροθιά για να αντιμετωπίσουμε την κρίση. Χειροκροτάμε με όλη τη δύναμη της ψυχής μας τους ανθρώπους που θέτουν τη ζωή τους σε κίνδυνο για να ζήσουμε οι υπόλοιποι. Αλλά όσοι έχουμε θέση ευθύνης δεν αρκεί να χειροκροτάμε. Οφείλουμε και να πάρουμε αποφάσεις για να τους στηρίζουμε έμπρακτα. Τόσο αυτούς, όσο και καθέναν και καθεμιά που θα έχει απώλειες από τη κρίση.Ας γίνει η κρίση αυτή, η αφορμή να βγάλουμε τον καλύτερο εαυτό μας.Αυτόν της αλληλεγγύης και της ανθρωπιάς.Κι ας είναι η αιτία να συνειδητοποιήσουμε την αξία της δημόσιας παρέμβασης στην οικονομία. Αλλά και την ανεκτίμητη, για ώρες σαν αυτή, αξία της ενίσχυσης της δημόσιας υγείας και του κοινωνικού κράτους. #COVID2019
Posted by Alexis Tsipras on Monday, 16 March 2020
20:27: A total of 53 people have now died in the United Kingdom after testing positive for the coronavirus.
20:18: The number of Cyprus’ diagnosed cases rose to 45 on Monday.
20:10: Italy records 349 more deaths. The total number of deaths has now risen to 2,158 in the country.
20:00: Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis held a series of online meetings with opposition leaders, including Alexis Tsipras and Fofi Genimmata.
19:00: British PM Boris Johnson says everyone is now being urged to avoid non-essential contact with other people.
18:03: Greece announces 21 new cases. The total number of diagnosed cases is now 352. 51 per cent of these cases are men.
17:50: The EU does not intend to include British citizens in the European ban, because ”the UK citizens are European citizens.” Full story.
A proposed ban on non-essential travel to the EU to curb the spread of coronavirus would not apply to the U.K., says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyenhttps://t.co/d0EKiTetcV pic.twitter.com/VW8Bx78BXu
— Bloomberg Brexit (@Brexit) March 16, 2020
17:40: Religious authorities in Turkey decided to suspend all Muslim congregational prayers in mosques all across the country.
17:22: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented new EU-wide measures to battle the pandemic. Among the measures is a temporary ban of all but essential travel into the EU.
The @EU_Commission presents guidelines on border measures & proposes:
1⃣Green lanes/fast lanes giving priority to essential transport to keep the mobility sector going & ensure economic continuity
2⃣Temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU (30 days) pic.twitter.com/9bda9MntF0
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 16, 2020
17:19: The Greek Prime Minister held the first meeting with some of his ministers using a new, online platform, which will be available to the entire public sector in Greece.
Έγινε η πρώτη σύσκεψη μέσω της πλατφόρμας e:Presence, η οποία δίνει τη δυνατότητα σε όλους τους Δ/Υ να πραγματοποιούν εξ αποστάσεως συσκέψεις. Παραδόθηκε από το @MinDigitalGr σε πλήρη λειτουργία στο πλαίσιο διευκόλυνσης της τηλεργασίας λόγω κορονοϊού. https://t.co/LQjgXn15y7 pic.twitter.com/6clH5SJ1Lt
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) March 16, 2020
17:17: The Leaders of the EU are giving a press conference following a meeting they had with the leaders of the G7.
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) March 16, 2020
17:05: New York governor Andrew Cuomo bans all gatherings of 50 people or more, while gyms, cinemas, and casinos will close.
Effective 8PM TONIGHT:
-Crowd capacity reduced to 50
-Restaurants/bars will be takeout/delivery ONLY
-Movie theaters closed
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 16, 2020
16:50: The number of diagnosed cases in the UK rise to 1543.
16:39: Mario Centeno, the President of the Eurogroup said that the European economy is experiencing the equivalent of war. The Eurogroup is expected to decide a series of measures to assist all Eurozone members on Monday.
16:16: The Holy Synod of the Church of Crete decided that all liturgies will be conducted without people attending them. It is noted that the Church of Crete is independent from that of Greece.
16:15: The University of Ioannina asked Greece’s Foreign Ministry to repatriate twenty of its students who are currently stuck in Spain, as Greece has stopped all flights to the country.
16:05: The world’s markets continue to plunge, as the coronavirus pandemic is expected to his all economies hard.
— RT (@RT_com) March 16, 2020
15:40: A video on social media shows how some Greeks try to make fun out of this difficult situation. A family is seen singing from their balcony an old yet popular Greek song titled ”O Charos Vgike Pagania,” which means ”Death is Out on a Prowl.”
4η Μερα Καραντινας..😏 Καπου στην Κυψέλη.. Γιαγιαδες εν δραση 👵 🎵🎶🎼🎷🎸🎤🎻🥁🎺👵 Δανάη Λεγάκη Δανάη Λεγάκη Κατερινα Λεγακη γιωργος τζαρδης Katerina Mavrou Giannis Kotsaris Mirela Kouk Ιωάννα Λεγάκη Χαρά Παπαϊωαννίδου Alexandra Tzardi
Posted by Τζαρδή Αλεξάνδρα on Sunday, 15 March 2020
15:35: The Greek Prime Minister’s Coronavirus test results were negative, meaning Kyriakos Mitsotakis has not contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus.
15:05: Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis published a new informational video asking the public to stay at home for as long as possible.
Οι στιγμές είναι πολύ κρίσιμες. Είναι η ώρα να δείξουμε υπεθυνότητα: Να ακολουθήσουμε όλοι τις οδηγίες των ειδικών. Να προστατεύσουμε τις ευπαθείς ομάδες του πληθυσμού. Να μείνουμε όσο το δυνατόν περισσότερο σπίτι. #menoume_spiti pic.twitter.com/qBMBCtIFKu
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) March 16, 2020
14:40: The Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Tokyo Games, scheduled at the Panathenaic stadium, in Athens for Thursday, March 19 will take place without spectators in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the Greek Olympic committee said Monday.
14:10: The Greek government announced on Monday new measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, including the closure of shops as of Wednesday and the quarantine of all foreign visitors to the country for two weeks. Pharmacies, supermarkets and petrol stations are excluded. Full story here.
14:00: The number of coronavirus cases in Spain has risen to 8,744, while 297 people have now succumbed to the virus, according to Fernando Simon, the head of the country’s health emergency center. The previous tally was 7,753 cases on Sunday, with 288 fatalities.
13:50: Covid-19 has killed 129 more people in Iran, the country’s authorities said on Monday, the most victims to die in a single day so far in what is one of the world’s worst-hit countries. These latest deaths bring the overall death toll in Iran to 853 fatalities since February 19.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 16, 2020
13:30: The Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) on Monday announced a special timetable for all public transport, with fewer trains and buses. According to figures, passenger traffic on the Athens metro has dropped by 40 percent, while ridership in trams has fallen by 60 percent. Full story here.
13:25: A Greek doctor’s plea through social media for people to “stay at home” has gone viral. His message says “I am on duty for you. You should stay at home for me.”
13:15: Greek police have arrested dozens of people for violating measures introduced by the government in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, apprehending a total of 127 people across the country since last Thursday. Full story.
The arrests pertained to owners or managers of hair salons, cafes, restaurants and other food retail outlets, bakeries and patisseries, the operation of which has been temporarily suspended.
13:00: An Italian national who had been on a pilgrimage to the monastic community of Mt. Athos developed symptoms of a suspected coronavirus infection and was transferred to to the nearest referral hospital, the AHEPA hospital in Thessaloniki, authorities announced on Monday.
12:30: Two villages in the region of Kastoria, northern Greece, went into lockdown after authorities discovered an above-average number of coronavirus cases. The villages of Damaskinia and Dragassia in the municipality of Voi will be closed off from the rest of the Kastoria region and only health professionals and food transportation vehicles will be allowed in. Full story
11:55: A member of staff of the Greek ambulance service (EKAV) has contracted coronavirus, in the first such case in the country. According to reports, the man was infected by a relative and not a patient. He is in self-isolation.
11:40: The FTSE 100 is having another difficult day, falling more than 8% at one point, despite the United States’ efforts to inject confidence into a global economy gripped by the coronavirus issue.
11:30: More people have now been infected with the coronavirus globally than the number who contracted it in China, if the Chinese government’s figures are to be believed. Over 87,000 people have been infected outside of China, according to Johns Hopkins University’s worldwide coronavirus tracker.
Chinese health authorities say there are 80,860 cases in their country at the moment. Deaths outside China have risen to 3,241, while there have been 3,208 deaths in China, according to Chinese authorities.
11:20: A Greek scientist has prepared a graph showing the number of cases per 100,000 people. Spyros Gkelis, @northaura, assistant professor of Biology at Athens University, says that Greece is two weeks behind Italy in terms of coronavirus spread. He stresses that Greece’s curve looks like Italy’s between February 28 and March 2.
Μικρό thread για την εξάπλωση των κρουσμάτων. To γράφημα δείχνει τον αριθμό κρουσμάτων ανα 100.000 ανθρώπους. Φαίνεται ότι η Ελλάδα είναι 2 εβδομάδες πίσω από την Ιταλία (δείτε την καμπύλη της Ελλάδας πόσο μοιάζει με αυτή της Ιταλίας μεταξύ 28/2 και 2/3)… 1/ pic.twitter.com/svCRhAk8NO
— spyros gkelis (@northaura) March 16, 2020
10:55: A fitness instructor in the city of Seville, Spain, which is under lockdown, hosted a workout from a rooftop — and people joined his class from their balconies.
10:40: Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis will hold a series of meetings via teleconference with political leaders, starting with main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, on Monday, at 18:00.
10:20: Coronavirus victims in Italy will be denied access to intensive care if they are aged 80 or more or in poor health should pressure on beds increase, a document prepared by a crisis management unit in Turin proposes. Full story here.
10:05: Cyprus, which presently has reported a total of 33 coronavirus cases, said it will tighten its borders to only allow people into the country with medical clearance, and would place those who do arrive in compulsory quarantine for two weeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
09:50: People form a huge queue outside a Costco store in California despite the White House appealing to Americans not to hoard as the virus spreads. The government has reassured the population that grocery supply chains are strong.
A truly incredible scene outside the #Azusa #Costco as shoppers lined up for blocks before the store opened. Public leaders are imploring people to stop hoarding. Will people listen? Eyewitness News #coronavirus coverage – Tonight at 11 from ABC7. https://t.co/ac9aUvmDUl pic.twitter.com/6Smx4YQmcx
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) March 16, 2020
09:40: Greek journalist Yannis Karamagalis @Karamagalis, made a chart showing the speed of coronavirus spread in Greece.
— Yannis Karamagalis (@Karamagalis) March 15, 2020
09:35: Stock markets in Asia have fallen – even after central banks around the world announced a coordinated effort to ease the effects of the coronavirus. The US Federal Reserve cut interest rates to almost zero and launched a $700 billion stimulus program. The eurozone, the UK, Japan, Canada, and Switzerland have also taken similar action.
09:20: Greek authorities have started implementing crowd controls on supermarkets to prevent overcrowding and to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country. Full story here.
09:10: The number of infections worldwide has grown to more than 87,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, while cases inside China, stood at 80,860 as of Monday, according to the Chinese National Health Commission.
Deaths outside China have risen to more than 3,241, according to Johns Hopkins, while deaths inside China stand at 3,208 as of Monday — again, according to Chinese government figures.
09:05: New York City and Los Angeles shut down bars, restaurants and other public places.
I’m taking executive action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in @LACity by closing bars, nightclubs, restaurants (except takeout/delivery), entertainment venues and gyms until March 31 unless extended. Grocery stores will remain open. Watch live: https://t.co/iDFp1C4Zpz pic.twitter.com/IlTcanN2tA
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) March 16, 2020
09:00: Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the new Greek President sworn in on Friday, sent a message of unity and hope to the country’s citizens on Sunday. Full story here.
08:30: Turkey reports 12 new coronavirus cases in their largest daily increase, bringing the total to 18.
08:10: Spain became the second European country to impose a nationwide lockdown after 2,000 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases were confirmed and the number of reported deaths doubled.
08:00: Italy on Sunday reported 368 new deaths from the coronavirus outbreak as the country’s death toll hit 1,809 while the number of positive cases rose to 24,747 from 21,157 on Saturday, according to the country’s civil protection authority.